For those frustrated with calorie counts and diet trends, intuitive eating might be the solution your body has been craving. Intuitive eating is about listening to your body’s cues to know what, when, and how much to eat. Give yourself permission to enjoy the foods you love while respecting your body’s natural signals and desires.
Make peace with your food.
Eating well doesn’t mean depriving yourself of the foods you love. Intuitive eating is less about restrictions and more about you. Listening is the key to satisfying hunger instead of overwhelming it. A little indulgence can prevent intense cravings.1
How to listen.
Do you stop eating when you’re finished or when you’re full? It’s easy to keep going with large restaurant portions or when chowing down in front of the TV. Before you eat, rate your hunger on a scale of 1–10, one being ravenous and ten being stuffed. Try to eat when you’re at a 3 or 4 and stop when you’re at a 6 or 7. It may take a little practice, but you will learn more about your hunger and yourself if you pay close attention. Use this chart as a guide:
|1||So starved you are weak or dizzy; ravenous|
|2||Extremely hungry, feeling irritable; stomach growling|
|3||Less famished; slightly hungry|
|5||Neutral; not hungry or full|
|6||Mildly full with no discomfort|
|7||Full enough for mild discomfort|
|9||Stuffed with extreme discomfort|
|10||Full to the point of feeling sick|
The satisfaction factor.
When it comes to your favorite foods, it’s okay to enjoy. But stop when you’re
satisfied—before you’re too full. A satisfying meal can lead to fewer cravings.1 Think about all of the factors that make eating enjoyable, including the taste, texture, aroma, appearance, and temperature of foods. Don’t forget about the ambience as well. Set the table with place mats, fine china, or a special tablecloth to get the most from your meal. Our Pan-Roasted Fish with Rice and Cilantro-Edamame Pesto is the perfect recipe for intuitive eating.
Honor your health.
After finding the freedom to eat without guilt, honor your health with gentle nutrition. Choose foods that feel good and energize your body. Most people don’t have to eat perfectly to be healthy. It’s what you eat consistently over time that matters. Think about the foods you can add (like water, fruit, or vegetables) rather than subtract. This isn’t a diet; it’s a lifestyle. Progress, not perfection, is what counts.
For the love of you.
Choosing how you eat is uniquely personal. It’s about your needs, your preferences, and your goals. As your wellness ally, we’re in your corner with fresh ideas, recipes, and wellness icons that make it easier to shift toward wiser food choices. It’s all about you, at your very best.
1 Webb, Denise, PhD, RD. Forget Dieting – Try Intuitive Eating. Today’s Dietitian. Accessed December 15, 2020.